A storm is hitting the church

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Engage 2016 was a multiethnic conference that took place a couple of days prior to the Synod 2016. The participants were a diversity of cultures, African American, Hispanic, Chinese, Korean, Anglo, and Native American. One of the speakers was Rev. Pedro Aviles (in the picture above) who warned that there are storms headed toward the Christian Reformed Church.

What sort of storms are coming toward the church?

The greatest storms is the onslaught of secularism, that hits the church on every side and seems to be a storm that had already devastated Western Europe. Out of this huge storm there are many tornados that touchdown  the ground and destroy our world, to create havoc on our lives. One of these is the gender tornado and the LGBT debacle, “Loving our neighbor has become more important than loving our God.”

Then a generational tornado and a financial tornado are another two major storms hitting the church. “We need to be a weather-watching people,” said pastor Aviles, and try to make sure we get out of the storm quicker. “God took 70 years to bring the people of Israel back to him from exile … How long will the CRC be in this storm? It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Dr. Anthony Carter said that a lack of diversity is based in fear. “Fear amongst majority culture that if diversity happens, they will lose the blessing.” His African American congregation is getting more and more White and Hispanic, and they are starting to be unafraid that their favorite songs and their preaching  style is going to change. When we are afraid we start to be violent.

Rev. Charles Kim, Korean ministries coordinator for the CRC, talked about boldness in being God’s solution to a storm, allowing God to be powerfully manifested among us. We must let our service, our generosity in helping the hungry and the needy means that we are not afraid to share God with the community and to love the neighbor in his name.

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